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Euro Trades Near Two-Week High as Leaders Discuss Greek Aid

The euro traded near a two-week high against the dollar as European finance ministers continued to work toward an agreement on extra financing for Greece.

The yen held a five-day decline before data forecast to show Japan posted a trade deficit for a fourth straight month. European finance chiefs and the International Monetary Fund meeting in Brussels will try to plug a 15 billion euro ($19 billion) hole through 2014 for Greece’s finances and seek an elusive formula for putting its debt on a sustainable path. New Zealand’s dollar remained lower against most of its major peers after whole milk powder prices fell.

“The decision on Greek aid at the finance ministers’ meeting would be a big focus,” said Yoshitsugu Fujita, assistant vice president of global markets in New York at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank. “Should things turn out positive, that will give a short-term boost to the euro.”

The euro traded at $1.2816 at 8:20 a.m. in Tokyo from $1.2817 yesterday, when it touched $1.2830, the highest since Nov. 7. The yen was unchanged at 81.68 per dollar, after having weakened 2.8 percent in the past five days. It was little changed at 104.68 per euro from 104.69.

European finance ministers have “good” chances of clinching a deal on Greece’s financing and are determined to keep the IMF involved in the program, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said yesterday. Recycling European Central Bank profits on Greek bonds, charging Greece lower interest rates and extending repayment deadlines are among the options under consideration.

In Japan, exports probably fell 4.9 percent in October from a year earlier, leaving a trade deficit of 360 billion yen ($3.7 billion), according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before the data are released today.

Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. said on its GlobalDairyTrade website milk powder for January delivery fell 2.5 percent. The near-term contract for New Zealand product fell to $3,255 a metric ton, the lowest price since Oct. 2.

New Zealand’s dollar was little changed 81.73 U.S. cents from yesterday, when it dropped 0.4 percent to 81.72.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mariko Ishikawa in Tokyo at mishikawa9@bloomberg.net; Kristine Aquino in Singapore at kaquino1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rocky Swift at rswift5@bloomberg.net

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